Crack Bars, also known as Graham Cracker Toffee Bars or Christmas Crack, are highly addictive easy dessert bars. These toffee candy crackers are made with chocolate graham crackers, homemade toffee, peanut butter chips, peanuts, and chocolate chips. One of the best homemade gift ideas for the holidays and Christmas.
This Crack Bars recipe is fabulous! I was going to name these Chocolate Peanut Butter Toffee Crackers or Graham Cracker Toffee Bars but these Crack Bars are so highly addictive because they are THAT good that we nicknamed them Crack Bars! I also have a “fall version”, Butterscotch Apple Toffee Bars as well as Coconut Crack Bars. Both great alternatives too!
You may know I love chocolate and peanut butter (like my Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Bars and Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cookie Poppers just to name a few! OMG I have so many others…) and these Crack Bars are the perfect addition to my recipe box!
What are Crack Bars
Let me start by saying, don’t worry, these are totally legal!
These dessert bars go by a million different names such as Christmas Crack, Graham Cracker Toffee, Cracker Toffee Bars, Christmas Crack Candy, etc.
There are lots of variations of this homemade holiday candy as well. They generally start with saltine crackers, Ritz crackers, or graham crackers as a base. A homemade butter and sugar toffee sauce goes on top, then followed by chocolate or chocolate chips.
You usually see this dessert or snack around the holidays and Christmas. It’s a quick and easy dessert, and also a great homemade edible gift idea.
For this version though, I used chocolate graham crackers AND added a peanut butter twist to it. Can’t beat chocolate and peanut butter together, right?
Equipment You May Need
You probably have most everything you’ll need for this homemade candy but a few suggestions to have handy…
- 9×9 Pan – A square 9×9 inch baking pan is the size I used. You can use any size pan, but you may need to adjust the recipe if you do use a different size pan.
- Rubber Spatula – a good quality rubber spatula will help get the toffee sauce out of the pan.
- Offset Spatula – A small offset spatula makes spreading the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips MUCH easier and I highly recommend getting one if you don’t already have one.
- Gift Box – If you’re planning to give this homemade candy as gifts, cute bakery type boxes are perfect or your favorite holiday food tins. The best Christmas candy gift!
(Full printable recipe card is at bottom of post.)
Crack Bars Ingredients
- Chocolate Graham Crackers– I used chocolate graham crackers but you could use regular graham crackers if you prefer. You could also try Ritz crackers or saltine crackers.
- Brown Sugar – I used light, but dark brown sugar would also work if you have too and if you don’t mind more of a molasses flavor.
- Butter – I used unsalted, but salted would work too.
- Peanut Butter Chips – Get good quality peanut butter chips that melt well.
- Peanuts – I used lightly salted peanuts and coarsely chopped them. You could use unsalted or salted. Personal preference.
- Chocolate Chips – I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but dark chocolate would also be delicious. Make sure you get good quality chips that melt well for best results.
How to Make Crack Bars
- PREHEAT. Preheat oven.
- PAN. Line a pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.
- CRACKERS. Place crackers on bottom of pan
- TOFFEE. Heat brown sugar and butter in pan.
- BAKE. Pour toffee on graham crackers. Bake.
- PEANUT BUTTER CHIPS. Sprinkle peanut butter chips on crackers. Bake. Spread.
- NUTS. Sprinkle nuts on top. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake. Spread chocolate.
- REFRIGERATE. Cool until chocolate is set. Break into pieces.
(Full printable recipe card with full details is at bottom of post.)
- You can cut or break this candy into any shape you’d like from small to large. I used a large sharp knife but you can also break by hand.
- Store the candy at room temperature or in the refrigerator. My husband also likes it right out of the freezer.
- For gifts or serving, you can place each piece of candy in cupcake paper liners or place the candy in a nice bowl or bakery box.
- Serve with your favorite dessert or after-dinner drink. This Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa would also be fun!
Quick Tips for Best Results
- Make sure you buy good quality chocolate and peanut butter chips that melt well.
- An offset spatula works best for spreading the chocolate and peanut butter chips evenly over the crackers.
- The Crack Bars don’t take a long time to make but you do need to refrigerate the bars for a little while after for the chocolate to set. I put them in the fridge for about an hour but you could put the bars in the freezer to speed things up a little.
- This Crack Bars recipe is so versatile. Add your favorite chips, crackers, or toppings! One quick note though. Don’t overdo it with the chopped toppings (like the nuts). The top layer (melted chocolate chips) needs to be able to stick a little to the bottom layer through the topping or the chocolate topping will fall off the bars after cooled.
Crack Bars FAQ
How should I store the Crack Bars?
Store in an airtight container at room temperature. You can also refrigerate or freeze.
Can I freeze Crack Bars?
Yes! They freeze very well.
How long will the Crack Bars last?
They should last at least a week at room temperature, a few weeks in the fridge, or a few months in the freezer.
You can use your favorite baking chips instead of the chocolate and peanut butter (just be sure they melt well). You can also used chopped chocolate rather than chocolate chips.
Can I use low-fat ingredients?
You could use low-fat crackers as the base.
What else can I add to this recipe?
You can add some chopped candy with the peanuts or can also sprinkle them on top of the chocolate.
Can I make this vegan/vegetarian/low carb/gluten-free?
Here are some suggestions, but I can’t guarantee results. Be sure as always to check particular brands and ingredients if you’re following a specific diet or have diet restrictions or allergies.
Vegan – This would be tough for this recipe.
Vegetarian – It’s vegetarian.
Low-Carb – You can try a low carb cracker for the base and lower sugar chocolate and peanut butter chips
Gluten-Free -Try gluten-free crackers as a base.
Other Holiday Snack Recipes You May Enjoy
- Cake Batter Truffles – I originally made these for Easter but you can easily change up the colors and sprinkles for any holiday or special occasion.
- Gingersnap Roasted Candied Pecans – Easy candied nuts with all your favorite gingersnap flavors.
- Cannoli Cream Chocolate Truffles – Simple homemade truffles inspired by the popular Italian dessert.
Crack Bars Video
My sweet son made a video for these Crack Bars so you can see how they’re made from beginning to end…
Crack Bars Recipe
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a 9x9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray with nonstick spray.
- Place crackers in single layer of pan to cover the whole bottom. Break the crackers as necessary to fit.
- Spread brown sugar on the bottom of a small saucepan. Cut butter into about 8 slices and place on top of sugar. Place pan on top of medium-high heat and without stirring bring to a boil. Let boil about 2-4 minutes or until smooth and brown in color.
- Pour toffee mixture (sugar and butter) over graham crackers and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Bake for about 5 minutes at 425 degrees F to set.
- Sprinkle peanut butter chips evenly over crackers and place back in oven for about 2 minutes or until chips start to melt. Remove from oven and spread chips evenly over crackers.
- Sprinkle chopped nuts on top and gently press into the smooth peanut butter chips. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over nuts and place back in oven for about 2 minutes or until chocolate chips start to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over nuts. Cool.
- Place in refrigerator for about an hour or until chocolate sets. Break or cut into pieces.
(Nutrition data is provided when available for informational purposes only and calculated using an online nutritional calculator. For the most accurate information please calculate based on specific ingredients and brands you use as well as any changes you made to the recipe. I am not a certified nutritionist or registered dietician and any nutritional information provided should only be used as a general guideline and estimate.)
This post was originally published in July 2016, but updated in December 2020 with additional information.